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Stoked Backpackers

Many have noticed the mural being painted over the holidays on the station facing wall of Stoked Backpackers, Main Rd, Muizenberg.

The mural was commissioned by the new backpackers and was painted by 4 artists, Mak1one, Ice7, Sergio Rinquist and Claire Homewood of The One Love Studio.

Mak1one was approached by The Ant’s Nest, a local creative agency, when the backpackers were looking for a graffiti artist to paint a mural that depicted surf and some of the Muizenberg vibe.

Mak1one invited The One Love Studio to collaborate with him and as local professional mural artists we were keen to get involved. The design for the mural was developed over a series of meetings and drawings until the final design was agreed upon.

The piece took a month to complete and has received much positive feedback. We have had mural conversations with people from the wide spectrum of community that makes up Muizenberg and it’s been an interactive and exciting process.

We have many ideas for further murals as well as facilitating workshops. In January this year we launched the Virgin Active Future Crew – this project aims to empower learners, and the community, to actively make positive changes in their lives. The initiative is in collaboration with Virgin Active SA and the Department of Sport. We worked with students from Lavender Hill High School to create the first mural.

We would love to assist in helping Muizenberg develop as an international destination to view Public Art, seeing more murals by local and visiting artists, as well murals that come from engaging the community and local youth using collaborative processes.

There is often a negative association with the idea of Graffiti and consequently a stern Graffiti By-Law has defined all public wall art as illegal unless a proper permit and procedure has been followed and approved by the City of Cape Town.

This law has been designed to halt what can be seen as gang graffiti and tagging which is often associated with poverty and gang infested environments. But it is inhibiting the painting of murals that intend on having a positive and uplifting affect. Graffiti takes art out of the gallery and puts it in the living spaces of everyday life. This art form is one of the biggest art movements worldwide and in 2014 Cape Town will be the World Design Capital, focusing world attention on Cape Town. So what will Muizenberg do to encourage more creativity in our public spaces before this world event?

Graffiti, like all mural art, is a part of our collective history and pre-history. It comes from the natural impulse to reflect our environment on the walls around us. We tell stories, share wisdom and leave a trace of our physical presence. Graffiti is born out of the Hip Hop movement which is based on 5 elements: MCing (speaking, poetry), DJing (music production), B-boying (movement, dance) and Graffiti writing (visual art) and lastly Knowledge of Self. These 5 elements unite many different cultures from all different social economic backgrounds. In the media, Hip Hop is reflected in a slanted viewpoint focusing on Commercial Hip Hop, which exalts cash, cars, fame, power, sex, violence, etc., and loses the essence of the Hip Hop community. In its true form, Hip Hop allows one to stay focused and to evolve one’s art form so that it is possible to make a living from one or more of these 5 elements.

In Muizenberg, it would be amazing to see more public gatherings which give a platform for the local artists, sculptors, photographers, musicians, poets and dancers to express and share their talent and love for what they do in a community setting. All of these art forms should be linked to youth creative workshop programmes that can be run alongside the surfing projects at the beach. Muizenberg has much to offer!

The One Love Studio is keen to help develop these ideas in Muizenberg and start planning towards an all-over 2 day festival in Muizenberg in 2014 to align with World Design Capital and showcase creative, community, eco and sporting Muizenberg. We also encourage the voicing of appreciation for mural art so that we can continue to set up projects, source funding and develop local talent.

Close up Stoked Mural Mak1one Octopus Stpked mural Serge183 from The One Love Studio   stoked-mural-low90 stoked-mural-low91